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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs            19  July 2011

Arrival of AEC poses challenges

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The advent of the Asean Economic Community in 2015 will prompt Asian businesses to seek more interim management services to stay competitive, says Martin Schneider, the chairman and CEO of Brainforce AG.

"Companies wanting to go into exports have a completely different view from others, and the way they do business abroad is changing," said Mr Schneider.

A third of the Switzerland-based interim management provider's revenue now comes from outside Europe, with two-thirds of that figure from Asia.

Mr. Schneider said the biggest growth is expected in China, followed by Southeast Asia, where the company has its base in Bangkok.

"Business in Asia has been picking up in recent years. As our clients are largely expanding to Southeast Asia, we want to multiply our revenue here," he said.

However, "cultural change" is still needed, as Asian companies including Thai-owned firms remain conservative - owner-driven with the weight of doing business geared toward personal relationships.

"Experience does not yet carry any market value, as owners don't want to pay much for it. But with management becoming more modern and professional, the use of interim management is becoming enhanced," said Mr Schneider.

Brainforce has more than 4,000 specialists worldwide in diverse industries such as automobiles, banking, consumer goods and tourism.

One-fifth of its 500-strong Asian workforce is in Thailand, where it opened an office in 2008 to beef up its presence in Southeast Asia.

Branches are located worldwide including in Thailand, China, Russia, South Africa, Austria and Germany.

Industrial clients account for more than two-thirds of the total, mostly in the machinery, automotive, electronics, electrical appliances, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors.

Service-sector clients include telecoms, information technology and healthcare businesses.

Sukhavichai Dhanasundara, the country manager of Brainforce International (Thailand) Co, said the concept of interim management is gaining acceptance in Thailand as firms prepare themselves to compete in a borderless market from 2015.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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